Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Antique settees and sofas

The settle, an elongated form of the wainscot chair, was the earliest form of seat furniture to accommodate two or more people. In England settles were made principally in oak and date back to c. 1500. Most extant examples date from the 17th and 18th centuries and are of joined and pegged construction. Settles were popular from c. 1700 in America, were pine and walnut were used as alternatives to oak.

Edwardian inlaid mahogany double chair back settee
The more comfortable chair-back settee evolved from the settle in the first half of the 18th century.Found principally in walnut before c.1735 and in mahogany through the Chippendale period, these were generally made in double or triple chair-back form, and in most cases their design corresponds exactly with that of chairs. The other main 18th century development from the settle was the fully upholstered,long seat or settee with a carved frame, where the wood was exposed (show-wood).

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Antique Chelsea Porcelain

The Chelsea factory was established c.1745 by Nicholas Sprimont, a Flemish silversmith. Coloured tablewares predominated. The fine soft-paste body was initially very glassy, becoming cloudier in the Raised Anchor period (1749-52). Chelsea porcelains highly esteemed and fetches high prices.

Chelsea porcelain asparagus tureen with a lid
The influence of contemporary silver was most strongly felt from 1745 to 1754. A number of moulded shapes were copied directly from silver originals in the Triangle period (c.1745-49), including the much-copied goat and bee jug. By the late 1750s the silver influence had become more generalized.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Vintage Coca-Cola memorabilia: Original or fake?

Bottles, trays, openers, tiny cars and trucks, calendars and signs are just a few of the pieces Coca-Cola has produced over the span of its 126-year history. While these marketing and advertising items were never intended to be collectors’ items, their presence in people’s lives has gained them sentimental as well as real dollar value the world over. And for some people, amassing Coca-Cola keepsakes has become a lifelong passion.

Valuable, early pieces of Coca-Cola memorabilia are often reproduced or faked. Fortunately knowledge of Coke's changing designs can often help to date and authenticate pieces, as many fakes are not accurate. Further confusion arises as some companies who produced Coke advertising in the early 20th century used outdated logos. Pieces by such companies may seem to be earlier than they are but they are not actually fakes.Compare your piece to authenticated originals in reference books and look for differences in the detail. If you can't find an authenticated example of your piece in a reference book, you may have what is known as a 'fantasy'. Such pieces were never released by Coke and have been subsequently invented by forgers.


Forgers sometimes produce Coca-Cola items such as gumball machines, cash registers, penny scale or cast iron banks and toys. But, one should know that these items are pure fake for the simple reason - Coca-Cola company never produced any of those items. So it is impossible to find them as the authenticated items.

Monday, December 15, 2014

What makes antique fashion valuable?

As more and more people buy into the vintage trend, distinctive and well-made fashion accessories have increased in value. The greatest prices are likely to be paid for pieces made by couture houses, but stylish items from other makers can be surprisingly valuable too.


If you are planning to sell, bear in mind that while some collectors buy shoes and accessories to record developments in fashion or because they like the work of the particular designer, most people buy to wear. For many, wearing a vintage accessory is an easy way to add an individual touch to a modern outfit and there is a young and enthusiastic market for pieces such as handbags, scarves, shoes and ties.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Antique copper, brass and pewter

Today many copper, brass and pewter items are obsolete because people are no longer using these objects. However, because they add visual warmth and charm to a home, attractive pieces in good condition still appeal to collectors.

17th century Dutch brass candlesticks
Copper and brass objects became common in the home during the 17th and 18th centuries and these early pieces are the most desirable for buyers today. Items from the 19th and the early 20th centuries are typically not as valuable. Many people keep their brass and copper highly polished, which removes patina. Unlike silver, most brass and copper objects were unmarked until the Companies Act of 1862. This can make dating difficult, but not impossible, if you know what you are looking for. 
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